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Hazardous Waste

Research Safety works to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local safety and environmental regulations in the collection and proper disposal of chemical, radioactive, and biological waste generated by the research, teaching, and clinical operations at Northwestern University. Read the Hazardous Waste Disposal Guide for more information.

Biological Waste

Do not autoclave biological waste. Biological waste should be disposed of in provided Biowaste Bins.
Biohazardous Sharp Waste


  • Glass pipettes
  • Syringes (with or without needles)
  • Glass slides and cover slips
  • Hypodermic needles
  • Razor blades, scalpel blades, t-pins


  • All biohazardous sharp waste must be disposed of in the biohazard sharp bin
Solid Biohazardous Waste


  • Plastic tubes, plastic bottles (emptied)
  • Plastic petri dishes
  • Flasks
  • Containated paper or gauze
  • Gloves
  • Small Tissue Pieces


  • All biohazardous waste must go in double red/organge biohazard bags
  • The bags must be in a rigid outer container while in use
Liquid Biohazardous Waste
  • Mix the waste with 1 part bleach to nine parts liquid, let stand ten minutes then pour down the drain with plenty of running water
Burn Boxes/Incineration Boxes


  • Serological pipettes
  • Plastic automatic pipette tips
  • Plastic transfer pipettes


  • When the container is 80% full, close it and dispose of it in the closest biohazard bin